SXSW may be eight months away, but with an event that big the planning gets started early — panel submission started last month, and public voting is already underway. WITNESS submitted two potential sessions, so check out the descriptions below and click on the SXSW tile to vote via the Panelpicker. We’ve also started looking at other panels we’d love to see happen in March 2015, so we’ve listed a few more you can vote for you’re at it. Any of the other 3,000 (!) submissions look interesting?
Did You Care? Did It Matter? Rethinking Activism. Think about the last time you took an action in support of a cause you believed in. Then ask yourself two questions: “Did I really understand or care about this?” and “Did I truly believe it made a difference?” Worryingly, even for the most committed of us, the answer to both is often no. In an age of diminishing returns from clicktivism and increasing skepticism about global action, how do we take much better advantage of a set of intersecting technology and societal trends to better engage people to care, understand and do something useful? Often seen as unrelated, these trends include the confluence of smartphone tools for live video, increasingly immersive entertainment opportunities, more sophisticated contextual task routing to reach the right person at the right time, and distributed activist networks. This session will offer a roadmap to trends, share signals of how these apply for activism, and offer provocations on how causes we care can engage and utilize us better.
Metadata for Good? Trust & Context in Online Media. With 100+ hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, online videos have changed everything about how we get our information and entertainment. But for all those videos to make a real impact in news, human rights, and legal contexts we need the increasingly rapid ability to tell which videos are real and which ones aren’t giving us the whole story. Most of what we hear about metadata these days involves NSA spying, but it may be a valuable asset in solving the trust problem, allowing users to establish authorship, prove authenticity, add context, and reach the right audiences. So how can we address the issues of privacy and user control while still separating the real from the fake? The answer could help online video for news, truth, and justice finally reach its full potential. The panelists will combine their expertise in news and human rights to to kick off a discussion of metadata, verification, online media, and rights.
And here’s the best of the rest (so far). There are surely some choice sessions that we’ve missed, so let us know in the comments or @witnessorg.
Online Video and Activism:
Cause Video & the Race to Measure Emotional Impact [Workshop]
Marcia Stepanek, NYU
21st Century PSA Campaigns
Online Privacy and Rights:
Youth Activism in a Post-Snowden World
PRI’s The World and Zeynep Tufekci
We Take It For Granted: Defending All Human Rights
CloudFare, Yahoo!, ACLU, and The Citizen Lab
Facebook, Twitter, and the Future of Free Speech
ACLU of California, Facebook, Twitter, and the National Constitution Center
The Future of News:
WTF: Europe’s Right To Be Forgotten By Google
Virtual Reality Journalism
Columbia Journalism School, Vice News, The Secret Location, and Pyedog Productions